Saturday Snippets…19th June 2021…Pearls…

Welcome to Saturday Snippets where I indulge my whimsy and my passions… maybe a tune or two…something which has caught my eye this last week…just anything out of the ordinary or extraordinary…

For the last two weeks, I have taken inspiration from something I have read or watched… this week thanx to Teagan and her wacky but fascinating series aboard The Delta Pearl...I have chosen as my prompt …Pearl

My favourite earings are pearl ones and I have a long string of creamy apricot coloured pearls which I adore…

But Pearls are not just confined to Teagan’s river boat or my jewelery  but to so much more…Let’s explore!

We used to keep cockatiels which are such beautiful birds and very intelligent as well…our girl was called Lucy and she loved nothing better than to come out of her cage and sit on your shoulder ..very inquisitive birds with beautiful markings.

Native to Australia…we were lucky to see quite few small flocks of them when we visited our daughter…

Pearl was also a singer yes that’s the name of the track…This song was co-written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller with Ralph Dino and John Sembello, who first recorded it as Dino & Sembello in 1974…when the opportunity arose for them to produce Elkie Brooks a British singer they revived the song for her making the lyrics more appropriate for a female singer…

The song is about a female nightclub singer, but not specifically Janis Joplin whom many people thought it was probably because her nickname was “Pearl.”

Who would think that such a gravelly voice would come out of that body?…Brilliant..

In the culinary world we have pearl barley, pearl couscous and pearl onions…my mother only used pearl barley in casseroles and stews whereas now it is used as a substitute for rice and other grains it has has something of a resurrence…is pearl barley healthier than rice…?

Brown rice also has over five times more folate and vitamin E. However, pearl barley has twice the calcium and the fibre and about 30 per cent fewer calories. The two are equivalent in protein and fat content. Ultimately, both grains are healthy choices and getting variety from both is best.

Margyricarpus Pinnatus or Pearl Plant is native to The Andes…it has unremarkable flowers with little scent… white fruit which has an insipid taste however the white of the fruits against the dark green spiky foliage make it an attractive rockery plant…

Pearlfish are slender, eel-shaped fish that often live inside various invertebrates including sea cucumbers. Because a sea cucumber breathes by taking in water …

From the pearlfish let’s explore the world of the Oyster where the best pearls come from…

Though classified as a gemstone, pearls are extremely unique, largely due to the fact that they are the only gem material formed and found within a living creature. Unlike diamonds, rubies, emeralds and more, pearls require no cutting or polishing before use and are simply stunning the way they naturally form.

South Sea pearls are considered the most valuable. They are also the largest pearl variety on the market.

You also get the cultured pearl…which requires human intervention and care. Today, most of the molluscs used in the culturing process are raised specifically for that purpose, although some wild molluscs are still collected and used.

Pearl—natural or cultured—is a US birthstone for June, together with alexandrite and moonstone.

Fancy a cuppa… we get Bubble Milk Tea here which is a drink with black tapioca pearls…

Milk Tea: A refreshing combination of brewed black tea, milk, and (optional) tapioca pearls.

Thai Tea: A strong black tea combined with sweetened condensed milk and studded with (optional) tapioca pearls.

Now for some Pearl Jam…no  you don’t spread it on your toast they are an American Rock Band…

That’s all for today…I hope you enjoyed this theme..Thank you Teagan for inspiring me x

 

Smorgasbord Health Column – Family Health – Backache by Sally Cronin

To give you an idea of how common backache is around the world; it is estimated that nearly 10% of the global population will experience either acute (one off or occasional event with recovery) or chronic backache (constant and disabling). There are a number of proven factors such as weight, height, age and of course occupational posture but generally the causes of lower back pain in particular are very hard to diagnose.

Back pain is one of the leading causes of disability but it also results in one of the biggest financial burdens on health services and industry around the world. An estimated 25% of all sick leave is the result of back problems with billions of pounds and dollars in medical costs.

To read the original post please click the link below…Sally has some good advice and some remedies which may ease your backpain…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2021/06/17/smorgasbord-health-column-family-health-backache-by-sally-cronin/

Would you eat me?…Banana Worm Bread…

In this day and age when the population is increasing scientists and people’s thoughts turn to other means of food…GM modified foods have many critics so a lot of people are looking at alternatives foods which in the past we would never have considered eating and which now due to research reveal that many are very good sources of proteins and vitamins. We just need to get over our natural ..well revulsion…Yuk instinct!

inchworm-1732290_1280

Picture source:

Maybe not in the Western World but in Asia and other parts of the world it is deemed quite normal to eat insects…to me, it is all relative we are creatures of learned habits …the food we eat is what our parents fed us with…some of us are more adventurous… others are damn fussy and are even revolted by vegetables…

The Mealworm:

Is the brown worm-like larvae of the Darkling Beetle and it can be a pest as the larvae feed on stored grains but they are also a good source if properly and humanely killed of protein and fat.

To prepare the mealworms for cooking:

You can either leave them for a day or two with zero food or as they take the flavour of what they eat you can give them small pieces of apple, cinnamon sticks crushed or carrot diced small.

Do avoid citrus or watery foods they DON’T work.

The next step is to freeze them for one to two days…NOT as some suggest 15 minutes as they go into a state of dormancy and do not die. Well, we all eat or have eaten food that is killed by one means or another…

Then boil

Crispily fried mealworms with chilli and garlic:

 

Slice some chillies and finely dice some garlic. Melt some butter in a pan and add the chillies and garlic saute for 2 minutes and add mealworms. If they start to pop ….lower the heat..it is too high and then fry them until they are golden and crispy…a lovely snack.

This snack is sold on every market and all bars will offer these as a bar snack…very popular.

Banana worm bread:

  • 4oz margarine.
  • 6oz castor sugar
  • 8oz plain flour
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup of chopped nuts
  • 1/4 cup roasted mealworms
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt.

Let’s Cook!

Cream together the sugar, margarine, salt and baking soda.

Stir in the mashed bananas, nuts and, mealworms.

Put mixture into a prepared loaf tin and cook in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 45mins to 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean.

 

This bread came about as an online friend requested a recipe for worm bread…She is looking at alternative food sources and it may be that we may all at some point will need to do this. An interesting point was raised by a comment on my post that these TV programs like Get me out of the Jungle have not done eating insects as part of our diets any favours.

Info on the Global Insects Market…

Just a thought worth pondering…..What do you think? Please tell me your thoughts in the comments…

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

The Culinary Alphabet …..A-Z…Series 3… the letter H…Stargazy Pie with Pilchards…

Welcome to series 3 of the Culinary Alphabet A-Z…Where the middle letter is H…

Nothing is as it seems here…this new series is the brainchild of Chel Owens who writes at A wife, My Verse, and Every Little Thing…my followers are so good to me they think up all sorts of permutations of the Alphabet for me to blog about…not sure if they want me to call it quits or what they will come up with next…Chel like Pete was, however, will be called on to make her contribution every two weeks…they don’t get off scot-free…so I hope you have started brainstorming Chel…haha x

So what’s in store? In this series the A, B, C, etc will be the middle letter, for example, Aga, Cabbage, and Yucca… how easy that will be who knows I am sure some of the letters of the alphabet could cause the grey matter to rebel or implode…haha…I also don’t want to use plurals to form a word as I may need that word for another letter and its sort of cheating I think…unless of course I really get stuck…which I am sure will happen…

Today it is words where the middle letter is H...not quite as easy as the previous letter..it taxed my brain somewhat…Thanx Chel xx

Let’s go and see what I have found…

Anchovy…

What are they?…they are tiny little saltwater fish often available in tins and jars they add a salty, umani flavour to sauces and dressings.

Beechnuts…

Tasty, nutrient-dense nuts produced in the fall by beech trees…Historically, they were a popular food source in both Europe and America, but these days hardly anyone’s ever heard of them. That’s mainly because they’re difficult to harvest mechanically,..but a lovely treat for foragers…

In the US beechnuts are mostly considered a foragers delight or a survival food these days, in Europe beechnuts are still used for cooking.  The french press out the rich oil for flavourful salad dressings. 

Cornhusks…

Cornhusks are the outer covering of an ear of corn. They are dried, to be used in making tamales or encase foods to be steamed.

Cashews…

A kidney-shaped bean from the cashew tree is a tropical tree native to Brazil but now cultivated in various warm climates around the world, especially rich in unsaturated fat. They are a great source of magnesium and manganese.

Popular in Indian cuisine they are used in many sauces and gravies…they are also my new favourite …I love chicken and cashew nuts and have recently used them to make an Indian Cashew Nut Curry which was delicious…

Chokecherries…

Chokecherry fruits are too astringent to eat raw (hence their name), but make delicious jellies, jams, sauces and pies. Native Americans used them as an ingredient in “pemmican,” a meat-based winter staple, and brewed chokecherry bark to make tea.

Doughnuts…

The Official Dictionary Spelling of the word in question—is “doughnut.” The expedited, simplified, Americanized spelling of “donut,” as Grammarist tells us, has been around since at least the late 19th century.

Forget the fancy doughnuts…Mine is a Jam one, please…

Eggshells…

Please tell me that you don’t throw away your eggshells…I dig them into my garden soil and over time they break down and make the soil calcium-rich. This is especially helpful for vegetables like tomatoes and peppers that suffer from blossom end rot, which occurs when there isn’t enough calcium in the soil.

I use them as little seed pots and just plant the seedlings straight out into a pot or the garden where the eggshell then rots away…Female birds especially loved baked eggshells as they provided much-needed calcium…

To bake the eggshells… place them lightly on a cookie sheet at 250 degrees until dry, but not brown. This sterilizes them and makes them brittle. You can crumble them into bite-sized bits and spread them on a patch of bare ground, a rock, a platform feeder, or your deck railing…the birds will love you…

Crushed and placed around the perimeters of your garden they keep away the slugs and snails…they even add a healthy boost to your bone broth…so please tell me that you don’t or won’t ever throw eggshells away again…

Pho…

Vietnams National Dish…a dish of broth, rice noodles, herbs and meat which is often chicken is served in households, street stalls and restaurants everywhere not just in  Vietnam but around Asia very popular here it is eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner…

Dahls…

Spelt daal, dal or dail is a staple in Indian Households…there are so many variations of this simple, nutritious bowl of lentils…This hearty dhal is a meal in itself but can be served with a little rice or warm naan bread for mopping up the delicious sauce. This dish happens to be vegan too.

Lychees…

Small fleshy fruits. The outside of the fruit is pink-red, roughly textured, and inedible, covering sweet flesh which can be eaten raw or used in sweet desserts or savoury dishes.

Pilchards…

A small oily fish often found canned in oil, brine or tomato sauce…Many species of small fish may be called sardines but once grown to more than 15cm long a number of these species are likely to be called pilchards. Whatever their origin, they’re a delicious, oily fish that’s undoubtedly undervalued.

Fresh pilchards or Cornish sardines may be lightly poached, grilled or baked and although there’ll be a definite oily whiff in the air it’s considerably less if cooked in water. The Scottish habit of cooking herrings in oatmeal works well with pilchards. Their robustness makes them suited to curries and fish stews of all styles and cuisines.

Stargazy pie was supposedly created in Mousehole, Cornwall, filled with potato, egg and variable other ingredients but always topped with pastry through which emerged the intact heads of skinned and boned pilchards, the oil of which was expected then to drain into the main filling during the cooking. It’s not commonly found these days.

Yoghurt…

Put simply Yoghurt is created by the bacterial fermentation of milk…it can be a wonderful thing or a sugar-laden highly processed pot of nothing that is good for you…What is really in your Yoghurt?

That’s all for today for the letter H…

Thank you so much for your visit I hope you have enjoyed the read…See you tomorrow for another episode of made from scratch… Love Carol xxx

Age and glasses of wine should never be counted!

 

They most certainly shouldn’t…Today it’s just a tried and tested recipe from me…for Lemon Chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Chicken Breasts( skinless)
  • 2/3 cloves garlic.
  • 1 tbsp capers ( rinsed)
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley.
  • Half lemon sliced.
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice.
  • 1/2 pint chicken stock.
  • 5 tbsp Olive Oil.
  • 2 tbsp Butter.
  • Parley for garnish.

Let’s Cook!

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat,  with 3 tablespoons olive oil. When it starts to sizzle, add  2 pieces of chicken and cook for 3 minutes. When chicken is browned, flip and cook the other side for 3 minutes. Remove and transfer to plate. Add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When oil starts to sizzle, add the other 2 pieces of chicken and brown both sides in the same manner. Remove pan from heat and add chicken to the plate.

Into the pan add the lemon juice, stock, capers and garlic. Return to stove and bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from the pan for extra flavour. Check for seasoning and add lemon slices and parsley. Return all the chicken to the pan and simmer for 5/10 minutes depending on the size of the breasts. Remove chicken to platter.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to sauce and whisk vigorously. Pour sauce over chicken and garnish with parsley and lemon slices if desired…

Serve with Boiled Rice or Potatoes and Vegetables.

Enjoy!

If you like Lemon and Capers then this dish is for you.

Thank you for popping in see you tomorrow for my A-Z with a difference xx

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – June 6th – 12th 2021 – 1970s hits, Narcissism, Green Kitchen, Humour, Health, Pets, Book and Author Promotions.

Welcome to the round-up of posts you might have missed this week on Smorgasbord…Something for everyone…Book and author promotions, narcissism, green cooking and more…please head over to Smorgasbord Magazine take a drink and enjoy #recommended read.

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2021/06/12/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-weekly-round-up-june-6th-12th-2021-1970s-hits-narcissism-green-kitchen-humour-health-book-and-author-promotions/